CHAP. 366 HISTORY OF PERSIA restitution was never made. The factors left Resht, and thus ended in failure the second attempt to trade with Persia across Russia, although as in the case of the earlier venture our annals are enriched by the achievements of Englishmen such as Hanway, Elton, and Woodroofe, who won fame as explorers and pioneers. The Naval Ambitions of Nadir Shah.óNo better illustration can be found of the influence of physical con- ditions on character than the invincible repugnance to the sea which the Persians, who are cut off from it by mountain barriers, have always shown, a repugnance which is as strong to-day as when Hafiz gave up his voyage to India, Nadir Shah deserves credit for being the first monarch of Persia who realized the value of a fleet, and his naval policy was strenuously supported by Jhis Admiral of the Coast, although that officer, when appointed, had never seen a ship. In January 1743, Elton was appointed Chief Naval Constructor and given the title of Jamal Beg.1 Not content with merely building ships, Elton, under the instructions of his royal master, surveyed the east coast of the Caspian as far north as Cheleken Island.2 Nadir's plan was to keep in check the Turkoman pirates and to strengthen the claims of Persia along this coast by the establishment of a fortified position. Moreover, he hoped by means of a fleet to be able to supply his troops when operating against the Lesghians, and, as Hanway puts it, cc the ambition of sharing the trade and Sovereignty of the CASPIAN might also be a concurring inducement.1' Elton was a genius. Making his headquarters at Langar Rud, the port of Lahijan, in a pestilential climate, he set to work to overcome all difficulties. Timber was hewn and brought down to the coast; sail-cloth was woven of cotton, and cords were twisted'from flax. Anchors, not being procurable locally, were fished for. The local population, working without pay, was bitterly hostile to the new forced labour, but Elton, with only one English carpenter, a few Russians, and a few Indians, launched 1 The Turki form is "Gemal," and it must be remembered that Turki was Nadir's mother-tongue. 3 Captain Woodroofe's interesting account is given in Hanway, i. 130-38. On p. 161, Nadir's plans are set forth and reference is made to the energy displayed by Elton.